|Job Design and Work Measurement|
Case: Jeans Therapy—Levi's Factory Workers Are Assigned to Teams, and Morale Takes A HitKEY POINTS
An operations manager uses job design techniques to structure work to meet the physical and behavioral needs of the employee. Work measurement methods are used to determine the most efficient means of performing a given task, as well as to set reasonable standards for performing it. Work performance standards are important to the workplace so accomplished can be measured and evaluated. Standards permit better planning and costing and provide a basis for compensating the work force and even providing incentives.
Trends in job design include quality as part of the worker's job. Today many workers are cross-trained to perform multiskilled jobs and total quality programs are important for all employees. Team approaches, informating, use of temporary workers, automation, and organizational commitment are other key issues in job design decisions.
Behavioral considerations in job design include how specialized a job will be. Specialization has unique advantages and disadvantages. At the other extreme from specialization are the concepts of job enlargement and job enrichment. Sociotechnical systems of the interaction between technology and the work group influence job design as do ergonomic or physical consideration.
Work methods determine how the work should be accomplished in organizations, while work measurement determines how performance may be evaluated. Work methods can be established for an overall productive system, a worker alone, a worker interacting with equipment, and a worker interacting with other individuals.
Work measurement and standards exist to set time standards for a job. A technique used in work measurement is the time study. Examples of time studies are included for a four-element job and for a nursing environment. Finally, work sampling is compared to time study.
Another issue in job design is the financial incentive plan. These plans determine how workers should be compensated. In preparing a financial incentive plan, management must consider individual, group, and organization wide rewards.